Archive for the ‘hardware’ Category

always a technician – thanks to Mom & Uncle Clint

Monday, July 8th, 2024
Before childhood amateur radio projects, before college freshman radio work, before sound engineering in San Francisco, at the Vulcan Gas Company, and the Armadillo World Headquarters, my mother taught me to repair lamp wiring when I was very young. I began building electronics projects with a crystal radio kit when I was 6 years old. crystal radio kit


[koko] knowing and accepting limitations

Tuesday, February 6th, 2024

It seems I am easily distracted. One thing leads to another. Inquiries spur new thoughts. Anomalies suggest investigation. Surprises remind of well-worn adages, e.g., newer isn’t always better, particularly regarding software. But, I keep on keeping on.

[koko] MISP 2022

Monday, January 10th, 2022

“Things Have Changed” – Bob Dylan (1999)

“Everything, still remains the same”
“(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay” – Otis Redding (1967)

tl;dr embarking on quantifying meaningful indicators of small computer system performance over the last three decades

In graduate school and subsequent professional work, analyzing performance of computer systems was often my primary effort, including much of the software I wrote, and my first three books. Years ago I pontificated about Meaningful Indicators of System Performance, surveying the (mostly) synthetic benchmarks in vogue in 1990. I was also active in the formation of the Business Applications Performance Corporation. (more…)

[koko] LP digitizing milestone approaching

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

In my primary collection, I’ve accumulated roughly 800 LPs over the years. Some are junk, some are treasures, a few have never been unsealed, a few are in terrible condition, but mostly these are LPs that I want to hear and preserve. I’d been gradually digitizing them so I could listen to them in the car and on my phone, and so I’d have archival versions if the LPs were lost.

A few years ago, I got a new Audio-Technica turntable to displace my finicky decades-old Thorens (which is now configured for 78s). I did that, in part, to accelerate progress digitizing the LPs and now have maybe 20[1] left before I’ve finished with the primary collection. Now seems the right time to summarize the tools I use and techniques I’ve developed. Both this post and the video are intended to be self-contained, but each probably offers details missing from the other.


[koko] Dell Unix sustainable!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

“The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keepin’ on like a bird that flew”
(1975) “Tangled Up In Blue” – Bob Dylan

tl;dr with 86Box, obsolete hardware not needed

[update December 2021: files for 86Box install at]

[update February 2024: [koko] knowing and accepting limitations]

With prodding and help from Antoni Sawicki, and bits of help from others, I’ve been trying to get Dell Unix to be sustainable on modern hardware. I’d succeeded in building our SVR4 from the last sources on turn of the century and older hardware. VMware and VirtualBox options seemed plausible, but so far we haven’t gotten those to have minimally useful networking, only had slow SLIP. on Dell Unix on 86BoxThough it has been around for years, and used by Antoni before, I was unaware of 86Box until late last year when Antoni posted about it, particularly: Dell Unix on 86Box “Today let me present Dell Unix more properly, with 1024×768, 256 colors video and proper networking using emulated VGA and NIC.” That post illustrates Mosaic, FrameMaker et al.

That left the question “What about using Dell SVR4 on 86Box to build SVR4 from the sources?”